The Pentagon announced Monday that the US has sent anti-radar missiles for Ukrainian aircraft to target Russian radar systems. It marks the first time the Pentagon has acknowledged sending the previously undisclosed missile to Ukraine.
Colin Kahl, the under secretary of Defense for Policy, said at a news briefing that the US had sent “a number” of the missiles without specifying how many the US has provided or when exactly they were sent. Kahl also did not explicitly say what type of anti-radiation missile.
A defense official told CNN the type of missile sent was the AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM).
Produced by Raytheon, HARMs have a range in excess of 30 miles (more than 48 kilometers), according to the US Air Force, making them one of the longer-range weapons the US has provided to Ukraine. The missiles can be used to target Russian anti-aircraft radar systems, such as the S-400, which have made it very difficult for the Ukrainian Air Force to operate over large swaths of Ukrainian airspace. The missiles can also target Russian counter-battery radars, which Russia uses to target Ukrainian artillery.
Kahl said the missiles had been sent over “in recent [Presidential Drawdown Authority] packages,” but the five most recent packages, dating back to July 1, make no mention of HARMs.
“In the near term, we’ve been doing lots of things to make Ukraine’s existing air force stay in the air and be more capable,” Kahl said.
He then pointed to the spare parts for Mig-29s the US helped send into Ukraine to keep the Soviet-era fighters flying. Kahl then mentioned the missiles, saying they “can have effects on Russian radars and other things.”
The Ukrainians have not publicly acknowledged receiving or using HARMs.
In recent days, open source reports have shown the remains of what appear to be the fin of a HARM missile that targeted a Russian position in Ukraine.